I may like coming home

I may like coming home,
but when it comes
right down to it,
I prefer going away.

Indeed, every book
is for me
an excuse
to travel,
a chance to incorporate
more places, more times,
more people into a sense of home,
which, over the years,
if you’re addicted enough
to journeying,
becomes indistinguishable
from a sense of self.

“Pray that your journey be long,
Filled with adventures, filled with wisdom.”

Poems exist to set the blood racing,
to shake you out
of old, worn patterns,
to force you
to face life afresh.

Life itself throws
islands of evil
across our paths.

Again and again
I have found in my journeys
that the real joy
invariably takes you
by surprise.
Always, you must
be alert
to possible diversions,
be ready
for spontaneous interruptions,
be willing
to step aside
without inhibition.

“Happiness is not
the reward
man seeks.
His soul
is in the journey.
He was born
for the struggle,
and only tastes his life
in effort
and on the condition
that he is opposed.”

It is time
for me
to get up
and go
again.

/ / /

This is a found poem. Source: Fritz, Jean. “Journeying.” Innocence and Experience: Essays and Conversations on Children’s Literature, compiled and edited by Barbara Harrison and Gregory Maguire, Lothrop, Lee, & Shepard Books, 1987, pp. 457-463.

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